Dershowitz, listen to the Jewish refugees roar

Alan Dershowitz is one of Israel’s most articulate and vigorous advocates. So why does this post , advising some ‘compromise’ by Israel on the ‘Palestinian right of return’, neglect to mention the rights of Jewish refugees?

Dershowitz should take note of Israel Bonan’s ringing, heartfelt ‘roar’ on behalf of the refugees – at no 49 in the comments thread.

“Of some 40 plus responses only 2 spoke of the 800,000 Forgotten Refugees.

From day one, that is 1948; Jews living in Arab countries have been systematically purged, dimeless from their countries of birth.

Yet, no one speaks of their refugee plight?

Is it because, we succeeded, and moved on with our lives? Was it because the Jewish ethos did not allow even the concept of Jewish Refugees, and stepped up to the plate to lend a helping hand; when contrasted with the Arab ethos of allowing their Refugees to remain in camps as wards of the UN for 60 years, and in the process deprive them of their dignity, and keep their problem festering for all to see?

Looking at rights of one class of refugees and ignoring the other, is an injustice.

I hope that Prof Dershowitz will take up our just cause in his writings, we certainly need a stallwart, of his stature, and with an international platform to bring our stories forward and introduce it to an otherwise one sided Middle Eastern narrative.

Because 800,000 of us overcame our initial disenfranchisement and succeeded as productive citizens in the four corners of the world, does not diminish one iota our rights and our claims.

We too are Refugees, so hear us roar, because we will not go away silently as a footnote in history. We intend to stand up and be counted.”

Israel Bonan, Boston, MA USA, Apr 5 12:04PM


  • You can find a bibliography here
    A good English language book is Norman Stillman’s ‘The Jews of Arab lands'(2 Volumes). Apparently Martin Gilbert has a comprehensive book due out later this year.
    There must be Hebrew language books too but I can’t help you there. I too get the impression that many Israeli academics are post-Zionist Ashkenazim in love with the Palestinian narrative and dismissive of the Mizrahi story.It doesn’t help, of course, that the historical archives in Arab countries are simply not accessible for research.

  • Apart from Joan Peters’ “From Time Immemorial”, is there an English language book that covers the history and fate of Jews in Arab lands in a comprehensive way? Is there a decent Hebrew language book on the subject?

    Peters’ book was savagely criticized for its description of the immigration politics of 1930s Palestine, but noone has challenged her account of the history of Jews in Arab countries.

    Serious books dealing with the modern history of Israel’s Mizrahim and the Mizrahi dispersion are few and far between. What are the academics and professors in the history faculties of Israel’s universities doing with their time (and our money)? Are they all solely Ashkenazi-oriented? Are they all post-Zionist relativists, anti-national idealogues and disaffected?


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